Press Releases

OCTOBER 6, 2017
CONTACT: MICHAEL L. GILLETTE at (512) 440-1991

Houston Teacher Receives Statewide Award

Humanities Texas is pleased to announce that Margo Hickman of Jack Yates High School in Houston is one of thirteen recipients of the 2017 Humanities Texas Outstanding Teaching of the Humanities Award.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee presented Hickman with her award in a ceremony at Jack Yates High School during the school’s homecoming game pep rally Friday afternoon.

Humanities Texas presents annual statewide awards to encourage excellence in teaching and recognize Texas classroom teachers who have made exemplary contributions in teaching, curriculum development and extracurricular programming. The organization received nearly 700 nominations for the 2017 awards.

Hickman, who received her M.F.A. in theatre education and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree, has taught theatre arts for eight years. In 2013, she was named teacher of the year at Jack Yates High School.

“Margo Hickman is a phenomenal teacher and staff member,” said Yates High School principal Kenneth Davis. “Her personality glows and her instruction lights up any room. We are lucky to have her here at Yates.”

One of Hickman’s recent creative achievements was facilitating her students' production of an original, well-researched play entitled Gun Violence: The New Normal, which focuses on gun violence and its impact. The play has been performed multiple times across Houston, including at the University of Houston. Each year, Hickman also leads a Black History production in which her students research and recreate historical and current events onstage.

“The core of my teaching philosophy is to educate, motivate and inspire my students through the performing arts,” said Hickman. “As an educator, I believe I have a vested interest in the success of every student and I find various ways to keep them motivated not just to learn, but also to grow into adults that can make a significant impact on the world.”

“Humanities Texas is pleased to recognize the achievements of Margo Hickman and Jack Yates High School,” said Humanities Texas Executive Director Michael L. Gillette. “Hickman inspires and motivates her students to succeed in the classroom and beyond.”

Hickman received a $5,000 cash award, with an additional $500 for Yates High School to purchase instructional materials.

Humanities Texas is the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Its mission is to advance education through programs that improve the quality of classroom teaching, support libraries and museums and create opportunities for lifelong learning for all Texans.

Humanities Texas is currently accepting nominations for the 2018 Outstanding Teaching Awards. Additional information about Humanities Texas and its teacher award program is available at

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